A four-year-old giant panda was rescued from nearly drowning on Tuesday afternoon, after she fell into the dam of a hydroelectric power plant in China. According to the Telegraph, when spotted, the 200 pound female had been struggling to keep her head above water as the strong currents pulled her along at the Wolong National Nature Reserve in Sichuan province.
Rescuers were afraid the giant panda was going to drown before they could get to her, but somehow the team were able to lasso a line around her and pull the frightened bear towards land. Then came the problem of convincing the bear to cooperate to get her to the safety of land; that’s when a marksman was able to dart her to successfully sedate the panicky panda.
Authorities think the panda got lost as she wandered into the power station and was unable to find her way back when she tripped and fell into the dam. It took ten men to slowly lift her sleepy body back to the top, but a veterinarian’s examination found her unharmed. After she awoke from the sedation, the adorable bear ambled back to the wooded area where she lived.
In September 2016, the panda, native to China, was upgraded from endangered to vulnerable on the Red List of Threatened Species, managed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The giant panda populations in the wild have risen by 17 percent in the decade up to 2014, when a nationwide census found 1,850 giant pandas in the wild in China.
As one of her distant relatives Winnie the Pooh would say …. “All’s well that ends well.”
(Photos of giant panda via YouTube and the Telegraph)
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